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brittman

SoDak 2009 Pheasants Down 26%

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I'm with you fishroger.....It's probably a good thing...the few times I have had the chance to go to So Dak there has been what I think, is too many birds...I know that sounds crazy but when waves of a hundred birds are getting up at a time.....It's too much....plus my setter was on point the whole time...Had to release her from point every thirty seconds "literally" in this one field we hunted...Crazy!!!..I know alot of you will call call me crazy so I should probably just keep my mouth shut and stay in the grouse woods! Have a great season!

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Much depends upon if you are

hunting core areas or fringe population areas

hunting private land vs public land

hunting private land where operators constantly replenish birds shot with pen raised birds (secretly). More (pen raised) pheasants hatched in MN are sold to SD operators than anywhere else. blush

I am more concerned that the trend seen in Brookings and Watertown will spill over into western MN.

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Brittman is absolutely correct. All the birds in South Dakota are planted. Minnesota folks ought to just stay home and go to the game preserves instead. The thousand or so birds I put up out of a half section of pig weed last December were definitely planted by the 70 year old farmer who let me hunt for free. That old coot must be really busy at night! The hundreds of birds I put up in the walk in areas each year are probably planted by the game department. What I'm trying to figure out his how they can afford it. I've raised pheasants and you'd be hard pressed to hatch and feed them for $7 a bird. The license costs around $110 and I've shot 15 a trip twice a year for the last 5 years. That means it's costing them about $100 a year just for me to come there. SDGF must be bunch of nice guys.

All kidding aside I'm sure some places plant birds, but if you aren't paying $150 a gun a day or staying at some ritzy lodge, I doubt your hunting planted birds.

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I went and checked the 2009 survey. It looks like the areas hardest hit are the ones that are the most commercialized. So in reality that wont affect the hunting much at all. Not for the guys who have to work for wild birds.

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if the numbers are down from last year its only because last year was a record high year. this year although lower than last year will still be a well above average year.

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I am more concerned that the trend seen in Brookings and Watertown will spill over into western MN.

Britt: What trend are you speaking of? Thanks

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Brittman is absolutely correct. All the birds in South Dakota are planted. Minnesota folks ought to just stay home and go to the game preserves instead. The thousand or so birds I put up out of a half section of pig weed last December were definitely planted by the 70 year old farmer who let me hunt for free. That old coot must be really busy at night! The hundreds of birds I put up in the walk in areas each year are probably planted by the game department. What I'm trying to figure out his how they can afford it. I've raised pheasants and you'd be hard pressed to hatch and feed them for $7 a bird. The license costs around $110 and I've shot 15 a trip twice a year for the last 5 years. That means it's costing them about $100 a year just for me to come there. SDGF must be bunch of nice guys.

All kidding aside I'm sure some places plant birds, but if you aren't paying $150 a gun a day or staying at some ritzy lodge, I doubt your hunting planted birds.

First off that is NOT WHAT IS SAID.

Yah but some of the guys paying $350 to $600 per day are hunting tame released birds. If you are hunting high $ private land and see roosters outnumber hens then maybe??? If they do not say WILD Birds only then ...

Buyer Beware.

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Originally Posted By: brittman

I am more concerned that the trend seen in Brookings and Watertown will spill over into western MN.

Britt: What trend are you speaking of? Thanks

Pheasant count down 35 - 45% in western MN.

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...Buyer Beware....

When it come's to hunting in SoDak, this is the best advice you can give. Public lands = Wild Birds. Private lands, guided hunts = Wild Birds confusedwinkwhistle mabe, sort of, well at least some of them right.

I think if your motives are pure, you are going out there to have a good time, and shoot some birds, you get out of it what you put into it. Phesants are BIG buisness down there. The big $money$ outfitters have to "replenish" the birds once in a while so there are a lot of birds out there to be had. Otherwise why would you book after the first couple weeks of the season? If you spend that kind of cash on a "you should have been here last week" type hunt, you are likely not going to come back and spend the money the next year.

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I would like to know the source citing these numbers for SD? The Argusleader in Sioux Falls had a story in the paper yesterday with a chart that showed the numbers for this year are going to be above average?

Here is a link: (source was from the Argus Leader) No links allowed thank you!

6.32 birds per mile sounds pretty nice to me. Yes that is a state wide average, but I run my dogs almost everyday of the week and I have no problem seeing birds along the roads where ever I go, even just outside of town here in Sioux Falls which is far from the prime areas.

I travel through Brookings and drive Hwy 14 both east and west often and always see birds. Nothing to be concerned about in my opinion.

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Quote:
Originally Posted By: brittman

Pheasant count down 35 - 45% in western MN.

Where did you get the MN numbers from?

Someone asked what my concern was ... that was my answer.

That is not the count ... sorry for the confusion.

MN pheasant count is usually held tightly to the DNR's chest until mid to late September.

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I think Britt is refering to the SD numbers. Britt, any idea as to what is causing this trend in SD? Thanks

Winter had an impact, cooler - wetter? spring must have hurt too.

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Originally Posted By: brittman
...Buyer Beware....

The big $money$ outfitters have to "replenish" the birds once in a while so there are a lot of birds out there to be had. Otherwise why would you book after the first couple weeks of the season? If you spend that kind of cash on a "you should have been here last week" type hunt, you are likely not going to come back and spend the money the next year.

No way ... if you spend that king of money it better be wild birds ... otherwise pay $17/bird and visit a MN preserve.

For more "discussion" Please google search Doug Smith Star Tribune December 24th SD pheasant article....

I shoot the majority of my roosters on the second half of the season. In part because that is when I spend more time hunting. The birds are not exhausted after the 1st two weeks of hunting ... gosh you don't even see the majority of them "lost" in the sea of corn.

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Following up on the links provided by rundrave and 311hemi, here is part of the SD GFP news release:

PIERRE, S.D. – The S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Department counted an average of 6.32 pheasants per mile in 2009 as part of its annual pheasant brood survey, the fourth highest statewide count in the past 45 years.

Although this year’s statewide index has decreased from last year, the 2009 statewide pheasant per mile count is 13 percent higher than the 10-year average.

In 2007 GFP reported the highest brood route survey count in over 40 years. The count went even higher in 2008. Even though pheasant numbers remain strong, the 2009 survey reveals a 26 percent decrease from 2008.

“The pheasant brood route survey is the standard for gauging how the pheasant population is doing,” GFP Secretary Jeff Vonk said. “Our data represents a very good reflection of pheasant numbers in the areas we survey. While our pheasant population is down from 2008 record, the good news is there are still a lot of pheasants out there heading into the hunting season.”

“In the past 45 years only 2005, 2007 and 2008 have a higher pheasant per mile count than we found this year,” Vonk said

GFP surveys 110 routes of 30 miles each over a three week period from late July to mid August. Survey data is used to calculate a pheasants per mile index for these routes. GFP can then compare the number of pheasants within each local area on a year-to-year basis, and also against a 10-year average.

“Considering the tremendous pheasant populations we’ve had the past couple of years, I believe even with this decline South Dakota will continue to offer the premier pheasant hunting opportunity in the nation,” Vonk said. “For a historical perspective, we had a pheasant per mile count of 2.69 birds in 2002, yet hunters still harvested over 1.2 million roosters that year.”

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